Monday, March 26, 2012

More About Blanketly Rooting For Your Conference

My esteemed co-editor addressed this on Friday, but since more content is always better than less content on a Web site when you're competing for readers with sites linked to Google and SEO, and because...well, I feel like it... here's  little more on our thoughts around being a stooge err, I'm sorry, fan who roots for the Big Ten simply because Purdue is in it.

First off, despite my little dig above, I am in no position to tell you who you can and cannot cheer for in any given sporting contest. If you want to root on Indiana while you attend Purdue, I can't -- and won't -- stop you. I can, however, think it's the wrong approach. It's like America that way: you're not obligated to follow my beliefs on hot button political issues, but you are required to at least respect my right to have such opinions.

We've taken some flak this past week (and other times) for refusing to blanketly root for the Big Ten in games not involving Purdue. We then attempt to explain ourselves (often in 140 character bites on Twitter) and yet the thicker-craniumed among you don't seem to understand. So we'll try again here.

Once again, you're entitled to cheer for whatever team, player or hairdo you like. But let me ask you this...Do we need to be actively rooting for a team in every single game? Can you just watch a basketball game to watch it? To see what happens? To be there for the moment of the tournament if it happens? Why is there this insistence among people that others must choose a side. This isn't the Presidential election. It's not Terminators versus the resistance. It's not ANWR. It's not gun control. It's just a basketball game.

If you're a fan of basketball in general and not really a fan of a team or program and rooting for a team (or against a team) makes it more interesting for you, then fine. But if you need this to keep your attention from wavering to shiny objects in the room, maybe you should just accept your fate as a sports gambler now. You'll love the casino sports books, where everyone is watching games like this.

My 64 year old mother was surprised to hear I was happy Indiana was losing to Kentucky over the weekend. "You're not rooting for the Big Ten?" she asked, aghast. So yeah, that's who is in the same boat as you folks who think you're somehow obligated to root for your conference out of some misplaced loyalty that even the schools themselves don't have.

Don't get me wrong. I don't want to see Kentucky win, either. But if Kentucky wins, as B-dowd pointed out, it's only a matter of time until they have to roll up the banner and put it in a storage closet. And more to the point -- and less snarkily -- what does Kentucky winning do to Purdue? I mean, if you want to relate the outcome of these games to your own favorite program, what does a Wildcats national championship do to you? Everyone knows they're the most talented team. Everybody knows they're the favorite. If they win, it's almost expected. Almost a, "well, we knew this was coming." If IU won it all or made the Final Four? You'd have to hear about it forevah!

"How's that feel??"
Okay, you might say, but what about BS' distaste for supporting brethren from MSU or OSU? Let me ask you this -- do you think the braindead media who incessantly refer to the Big Ten as slow, plodding, mediocre, etc., will ever stop doing that? Does it matter that the Big Ten is the best conference by any objective measure? Anyone who knows college basketball knows that and yet there's still a dumbass notion that the SEC is "quicker" or the Big East is "more competitive."  It's all nonsense, made up by lazy-ass sportswriters who are too terrible at their jobs to do even the tiniest bit of research. So does MSU/OSU winning a title or going to a FF change that? Of course it doesn't. It doesn't make Purdue look any better, if that's what you think. And beyond that.... I don't know what you think it does that's positive. Tom Izzo getting another banner and slipping further into the slippery muck that he's now comfortable in? Thad Matta -- a coach nobody has ever accused of being a good X's and O's guy -- getting an even stronger foothold in Big Ten country? Do you guys somehow think that OSU going to the Final Four and/or winning a national title is somehow good for your favorite program? Because it isn't.

The analogy I've used a number of times when dealing with SEC braindeads is that of pro sports. I'm a Yankee fan (yes, yes, I know -- just go with it for a moment), but do you think I cheer for the Red Sox to win if the Yankees are out (I know, this is fiction, but go with me here -- hey-yo!)? Why would anyone want to cheer on one of their rivals? One of the teams they see their boys do battle with usually multiple times a year? Because we don't want, what.... the Big 12 to win a championship? Who cares? I'd rather see the teams/programs that I hate with regularity suffer. Even the cynical and curmudgeonly among us -- what do we get out of seeing North Carolina or Kansas lose? We don't deal with those fan bases on a regular basis. OSU, MSU, IU, UM...those we do.

The best way I think I can explain our approach -- and I think B-dowd and I are similar in this way -- is each game is taken individually and evaluated. Could there be a scenario where we find ourselves actively rooting for IU? I suppose... like if the Soviet Union reformed and IU was playing for the honor of America and to stop communist aggression. That sort of thing.

Truth is, we've both found ourselves rooting for IU in football. When Coach Gum Throwy was there, you bet your ass we wanted to see them beat programs like Michigan. Yet if they were one win from a bowl season and were playing Michigan, it might be a different story.

Back to basketball, though. As the matchups are determined and often as the games draw closer, that's when we find ourselves gravitating to a side. And when the battles are between two truly unlikable characters or programs, well, I go back to what I said earlier: Why do we have to root for either? Can't we just see how the game goes? Maybe Rick Pitino will collide with Anthony Davis coming out of the tunnel, break his (Pitino's) nose and get blood all over this $3,000 suit and then the scoreboard will fall on Calipari. Who knows.

Our allegiance is to our alma mater. After that, it's all just noise.

15 comments:

kspry said...

my only retort is that the better the B1G does as a conference in the tournament, the more respect we get nationally, the more attention from big time recruits, and the more competitive our league becomes on a yearly basis. It is a double edged sword now, because thad "dicknose" matta already gets as many 5 star recruits as the rest of the conference combined (slight exaggeration).

at the end of the day, I don't care who wins as long as it isn't IU.

BTFU.

Chad said...

Ok, I think there has been enough pictures of the clapping clown the past week or so! Please make it stop!

Boilergal said...

Agree totally! I root for Purdue! After that, there are many teams that I root against, though the outcome of their games is nowhere near as important as the outcome of any Purdue game. Most of those teams happen to be from the Big Ten... especially the red and white teams (almost exclusively because of their fans).

As far as the NFL goes, I am a Redskin fan (yeah, I know!). Therefore, I hate J and every other Giant, Cowboy or Eagle fan. I don't wish for the NFC East to do well in the post-season because it would somehow make the lowly Skins look better.

BoilerWhat said...

I refuse to root for the teams that primarily contribute against Purdue's ability to recruit. Those teams would be Big Ten teams.

The Brilliant Moron said...

I can understand not rooting for B1G teams in the tournament. I certainly understand rooting against IU (I do root against IU, but just because IU's fans on the internets are disgusting ass-bags and I like when something shuts them up.)

BUT, I think all Purdue fans should root for B1G teams in the non-conference portion of the schedule (in both basketball and football.) Purdue fans don't like to acknowledge this, but when the B1G does well in non-con games, it raises the perception of the whole league, has RPI/BCS implications, and can help increase the number of post-season births the conference gets, which also contributes $$$$ to conference institutions.

So, my argument is that non-conference performance of other B1G programs (gasp! Even IU) is GOOD for Purdue, and Purdue fans should always want what is BEST FOR PURDUE.

But if Purdue is no longer in the tournament, root for ever you frickin want.

U-P Boiler said...

As Boiled Sports clearly pointed out, when B1G teams win, it does NOT help the conference's image! The Big East continues to be a darling to the East Media (despite taking pipe AGAIN in the tourney), and B1G is STILL "slow."

You guys are assuming LOGIC dictates what is written by sportswriters, and since most of them aren't exactly Rhodes Scholars (otherwise they wouldn't be jock-sniffers), logic has nothing to do with content. There's a pack mentality, where every sportswriter reads what every other sportswriter writes, and then writes the same friggin' thing. Just listen to any game - the commentators go with a script DESPITE what is actually going on on the court! It's like a WWF script, except the script DOESN'T determine who wins the bout!!!

As for the Indiana/kentucky game - the best thing that could have happened is that the arena collapsed, with no survivors.

CalTravelGuy said...

I love the nasty pictures of Coach Clapper... Don't ever stop posting the really disgusting ones.

J Money said...

"The Big East continues to be a darling to the East Media (despite taking pipe AGAIN in the tourney)"

My favorite line of the day. Funny.

Andrew said...

Two posts on the same subject? You guys must be getting blasted from Purdue alums that were embarrassed by your tweets. Your twitter logo has the Purdue logo on so please keep that in mind when you tweet comments bashing other B1G schools.
3 thoughts.......
-Stop comparing the B1G to Pro teams. It is totally different.
-Stop "hating" every team that isn't Purdue. Did Wisconsin come over and beat up your Mom when you were little? Chill out. It is just a group of 18-22 year old's trying to play a sport.
-Continue finding and posting disgusting pictures of Crean.

Unknown said...

Like I said last week when my tag was "unknown", rooting for the other B1G squads to advance in the tournament is akin to rooting to lose the next big recruiting battle. The better MSU, aOSU, or IU does, the more likely they are to beat Purdue for the next "insert 4-star recruit name here". That is enough to make me not want them to win. And I LOVE to read this kind of stuff here, because on H&R last week, there was a post calling people "immature" to root against IU, and telling us to "grow up". Sheeesh...

Mommatried said...

The media may not catch on- but recruits do- as ksspry said. That said, I do not, will not, cannot root for IU. There is nothing in me that cheers for them. I do not root for Michigan. I do not root for Notre Dame. I do not root for Ohio State. But I do hope for the conference to show and fair well. That doesn't mean I want to see one of our rivals succeed. I do not. But- when OSU goes to the final four and we played them well- on their court and lost bye 3- that's a good sign. When you lose to Kansas bye 3 and they are in the Final Four- that is a good sign. It's not a GREAT sign because the identity of this team is still learning how to win and finish ball games but all things told- we played poorly in games we lost. We played well in some of the games we lost- just not well enough to the final buzzer. I have to think that recruits- while "only" highschool students- can see that Purdue is competing at high level despite injuries and team chemistry issues. While we are all disappointed with the season in that- no conference banner, no conference tournament banner, no 2nd round win or more in the madness of March...we have a lot to look forward to. I think in losing, Matt Painter has showed us he is one hell of a coach. Here's to him pushing his squad to the next level of winning.

COD said...

Funny that you mention the USSR. We were having this same conversation in another forum and somebody mentioned that back in the 80s when the Soviet hockey team came to play scrimmages versus college teams, he rooted for the USSR when they were playing IU.

PU03 said...

"I generally root against the Soviets, unless they're playing IU." Ha ha ha.

chevys10 said...

I hate Indiana as much as the next guy, so there's nothing in me that wants to see them win.

But I don't think there is anything wrong with seeing the conference do well (sans IU). You say that can't understand why people have to root one way or the other...but you're acting like you root AGAINST the B1G. It's a little hypocritical. Let people root for who they want.

Personally, I root for the other B1G schools because I feel like they're classy programs...even aOSU. And how can you root against guys like "Day Day?" Evidently he and Hummel are kinda buddies and he seems to be a good dude. Wisconsin? What has Bo ever done to you guys? Seems to be a very classy guy and has never expressed any type of ill will toward Purdue.

Those are just a couple examples, but their are actual reasons that people root for the B1G. Hell, I even think it goes the other way too....I talked to several IU people the day of our Kansas game and they said they hoped Purdue would win.

Anwyay, to each their own I guess, but I'm pulling for aOSU in the FF...even if Thad has a huge nose and Sullinger has a big ass.

J Money said...

Uh, Andrew, our twitter logo most assuredly does NOT have the Purdue logo in it. Look a bit more closely. It's the BS logo.